• I must walk through the gate : an ontological necessity

      Brown, Hilary; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2010-10-26)
      This research is a self-study into my life as an athlete, elementary school teacher, leamer, and as a teacher educator/academic. Throughout the inquiry, I explore how my beliefs and values infused my lived experiences and ultimately influenced my constructivist, humanist, and ultimately my holistic teaching and learning practice which at times disrupted the status quo. I have written a collection of narratives (data generation) which embodied my identity as an unintelligent student/leamer, a teacher/learner, an experiential learner, a tenacious participant, and a change agent to name a few. As I unpack my stories and hermeneutically reconstruct their intent, I question their meaning as I explore how I can improve my teaching and learning practice and potentially effect positive change when instructing beginning teacher candidates at a Faculty of Education. At the outset I situate my story and provide the necessary political, social, and cultural background information to ground my research. I follow this with an in depth look at the elements that interconnect the theoretical framework of this self-study by presenting the notion of writing at the boundaries through auto ethnography (Ellis, 2000; Ellis & Bochner, 2004) and writing as a method of inquiry (Richardson, 2000). The emergent themes of experiential learning, identity, and embodied knowing surfaced during the data generation phase. I use the Probyn' s (1990) .. metaphor of locatedness to unpack these themes and ponder the question, Where is experience located? I deepen the exploration by layering Drake's (2007) KnowlDo/Be framework alongside locatedness and offer descriptions of learning moments grounded in pedagogical theories. In the final phase, I introduce thirdspace theory (Bhabha, 1994; Soja, 1996) as a space that allowed me to puzzle educational dilemmas and begin to reconcile the binaries that existed in my life both personally, and professionally. I end where I began by revisiting the questions that drove this study. In addition, Ireflect upon the writing process and the challenges that I encountered while immersed in this approach and contemplate the relevance of conducting a self-study. I leave the reader with what is waiting for me on the other side of the gate, for as Henry James suggested, "Experience is never limited, and it is never complete."